…from the Perspectives’ Happy Hour Bar
How you doin’? A lot of people think sipping whiskey is more of a fall or winter “sport.” But that’s not true. There are lot of complicated cocktails made with good old American whiskey that make great Happy Hour drinks.
Here is the simplest of whiskey cocktails that have all the character and flavor of your favorite American whiskey but lightened by bubbles and citrus for the perfect late morning/early afternoon sippin’ cocktail.
American whiskey or bourbon has regained its position as most popular spirit in the U.S. Buoyed by the popularity of cocktails and craft distillers, corn-based whiskey overtook vodka a couple of years ago as the top-selling spirit category by dollar volume, a trend that seems poised to continue.
Because bourbon is a truly American drink, the Fourth of July is an appropriate time to delve into its history -- and savor a glass or two. Bourbon owes much of its commercial appeal to the connection it offers drinkers to the American past.
Scottish-Irish immigrants started coming to the U.S. in large numbers in the early 18th century. They brought with them their accent, their music, their language and their methods of distilling grain. In the old country, they applied these techniques to barley, but in America corn was far more plentiful.
The word “bourbon” didn't emerge until the 1860s. It derives from the French House of Bourbon, but the origin of its application to American corn whiskey remains under dispute. Some claim it refers to Bourbon County in Kentucky, others say that it comes from Bourbon Street in New Orleans, whose residents consumed most of the product. Some theorize that savvy merchants may have come up with the name to appeal to New Orleans residents of French descent.
Bourbon hit its stride in the decades after the Civil War, when rapidly developing transportation and communications networks started to weave the U.S. into a single market. Brands such as Old Forrester, Early Times and Jack Daniels date to the late 1800s. Old Forrester was also the first U.S. whiskey to be sold in sealed bottles. Previously, the spirit was transported in barrels to a merchant whose customers carried their purchases away in their own reusable containers, a practice that continued into the early 20th century. To the side are two ceramic jugs from George Dickel; note the corncob stoppers.
Today we see new signs of Whiskey innovation with several artisanal Whiskey producers who bring their talent and taste to the market continuing the “spirit” of America.
2-1/2 ounces of your favorite American Whiskey or Bourbon
4-5 ounces of soda water
ChefSecret: Did you know the American Whiskey is a good investment? American Whiskey is an asset with a huge global demand, but with very limited supply. So just like any other collectible, when something is in limited supply, the price increases along with the rising demand. Whiskey was named as the best performing collectible of the past 10 years with 586% rise in value.
Quip of the Day: Sometimes the Universe puts you in the same situation again to see if you’re still the same old dumbass you were when you were younger.
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To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind. Take a breath and count your blessings, and if you have a little extra to share with others, please consider donating to Feeding America.
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